The “Silent Hill” series of video games is enormously popular among a select crowd of fans – their complex mythology and survival-horror genre (meaning combat is less important than finding a way to survive long enough to escape) are very engaging to the right kind of person. The film franchise is notably less celebrated, and seems to aim for “visually impressive b-movie horror flick” rather than “quality horror movie” of any genre. The latest installment, “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D” succeeds when taken on what seems like its own terms. Taken on almost any other measure of film quality, it’s a failure.
There’s a new Resident Evil movie out. This one is “Resident Evil: Retribution,” the fifth film in the franchise. It has everything we’ve come to expect: Milla Jovovich, zombies, mutants, and an evil corporation. Like all good sequels, it’s more of the same but turned up a notch.
If the measure of great art is how much thought and discussion it inspires, “Prometheus” is very great art indeed. It asks so many questions, and leaves so many of them unanswered, that it is producing interesting, thoughtful discussions far and wide. It’s more of a meditation on the eternal questions of philosophy than a story — which is both a great strength and a major weakness.
“The Raven” is one of those movies that never quite seems to figure out what it wants to be. Is it a gothic thriller, all period costumes and hushed terror? Is it a splatter movie, like so many modern horror films? Is it a black comedy? A silly, over-the-top piece of camp? Sure, plenty of movies manage to be more than one thing at a time, but “The Raven” tries to be things that are incompatible, and winds up being nothing at all, just a jumbled mess of a film. I suspect the reason can be found in one simple fact: it was directed by James McTeigue, whose last film was the trainwreck “Ninja Assassin” — a flick with the same problems.